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Genetics. 1997 Nov;147(3):1213-24.

A cluster of cuticle protein genes of Drosophila melanogaster at 65A: sequence, structure and evolution.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-1800, USA.

Erratum in

  • Genetics 1998 Feb;148(2):921.


A 36-kb genomic DNA segment of the Drosophila melanogaster genome containing 12 clustered cuticle genes has been mapped and partially sequenced. The cluster maps at 65A 5-6 on the left arm of the third chromosome, in agreement with the previously determined location of a putative cluster encompassing the genes for the third instar larval cuticle proteins LCP5, LCP6 and LCP8. This cluster is the largest cuticle gene cluster discovered to date and shows a number of surprising features that explain in part the genetic complexity of the LCP5, LCP6 and LCP8 loci. The genes encoding LCP5 and LCP8 are multiple copy genes and the presence of extensive similarity in their coding regions gives the first evidence for gene conversion in cuticle genes. In addition, five genes in the cluster are intronless. Four of these five have arisen by retroposition. The other genes in the cluster have a single intron located at an unusual location for insect cuticle genes.

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